Should I Install Ubuntu 20.04 or 21.10?

I just purchased my Framework laptop and I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival in a few days. I’ve been using Ubuntu for many years on various hardware (currently an Intel NUC) and I usually prefer to stick with LTS versions, so I’m currently running 21.04.3 LTS. Looking around this community it seems like both 20.04 and 21.10 are supported, but there are assorted quirks with either one. Any opinions on which one I should install?

so I’m currently running 21.04.3 LTS

I think you meant 20.04 LTS, right?

I usually prefer to stick with LTS versions

There will be another ubuntu LTS release in two months: 22.04 LTS. Hopefully that release runs perfectly out-of-the-box on the Framework Laptop.

Any opinions on which one I should install?

There are official guides on both:
21.04 : Ubuntu 21.04 on the Framework Laptop
21.10 : Ubuntu 21.10 Installation on the Framework Laptop - Framework Guides

IMO, pick the latest version (21.10) so the transition to 22.04 LTS is easier.
Also: 21.04 is not supported by Canonical anymore. (As of 2022)

1 Like

Sorry, earlier versions of my post said “21.04 LTS” but 20.04 is what I meant! Edited.

1 Like

It’s really up to you. My main machine for work is still on 20.04 and is working great! We’re seeing some of the backports trickling in to the repos now. Like you said, there will be some tradeoffs in the new version. I’m personally waiting for some of the snap growing pains to work their way out before I upgrade. I think stability is pretty important for your main machine. If you don’t mind the odd issue, there’s probably no problem!

1 Like

Kubuntu 21.10 user here.

Saw many were recommending the 21.10 for the fingerprint reader support, and wireless adapter support. I’m guessing those are the “some” things that have hit backports?

First time running Linux on a laptop, so I’ve gotten introduced to “tlp” to improve battery life. I never got powertop working on 21.10, so not sure how optimized my config is. Auto-cpufreq seems to be recommended more these days, not sure if the improvements to it have been backported to 20.04 LTS. 1165G7 CPU seems powerful enough without Turbo kicking in on battery so I’m not missing it. Not sure if auto-cpufreq down clocks the CPU more often when idle.

Stickler for KDE myself, been using it since Mandrake 7.2 (stopped using Linux altogether during the KDE 4 era, but loving KDE 5 Plasma), so I can’t really advise on the “Desktop Environment” side of Ubuntu.

1 Like

My advice is to wait for 22.04. Non-LTS releases can be unstable and have trouble upgrading between releases, so unless if you’re prepared to fix potential breakages, I don’t advise using Non-LTS.

1 Like

Thanks Monster_user. Some good arguments for going to the bleeding edge (if we can call 21.10 that), though I’m still probably too careful to try this for my every-day machine. As for KDE…well, I’ve learned to love (or at least tolerate) Gnome lately, just like I loved (or tolerated) Unity back in the day. I guess I’m just a herd animal, assuming that the most widely-used desktop environment is the one that will have the most community support.

KDE is plenty mature, it’s good. Use it, or don’t, I’m not your mom.

22.04 is going to be the same “bleeding edge” when it releases. I did not see any reason not to go ahead with 21.10 and then upgrade to 22.04 when it releases.

I guess KDE did get knocked back to second fiddle to Gnome GTK.

1 Like

I would just install 21.10 and then upgrade to 22.04 when it releases. This way you can get the stability of the LTS when it arrives while getting a more modern enough kernel that will work out-of-the-box with your framework now with 21.10.

1 Like

I installed 21.10 on mine and everything worked except for fingerprint reader. Solved that problem relatively quickly with a few package installs. It works admirably well. Everything runs pretty snappy except for Firefox. I’ve been making some changes to settings to optimize as much as possible but it still loads slower compared to other programs. I’m thinking of making the switch to Brave, maybe that’ll run faster since it seems to be minimal by nature.


I don’t recommend Brave, Brave does nothing Firefox or Chrome can do with a few extensions. They also have an (albeit optional) ad system that takes money away from the website itself, and exists purely to generate revenue for Brave themselves.

OK, post-mortem here. I ended up going with 21.10 because from what I could read here I might have had trouble with wifi using 20.04… I was afraid I’d have to mess with downloading and installing a patch without being connected to the internet.

After a few frustrating days, I’m pretty happy with my Framework laptop. Most stuff has been working just fine, with occasional weirdness. A few specifics:

  1. Because of Wayland/Firefox being a snap app I can’t install extensions via the lovely web interface. This includes ones I’ve come to depend on. There’s a kludgy way to do this, and I guess I could install Firefox through the repositories. But annoying.

  2. A dual monitor setup using usb/displayport does some very odd stuff: some apps including their title bars appearing in odd sizes more or less randomly. Occasional screen freezes and glitches that sometimes (not always) can be handled by unplugging and replugging the USB cable.

  3. I love using conky to show system status, and I can’t get that the launch at startup (despite suggestions I found online). Also not sure how to display fan activity: CPU temp seems to show just fine with ${acpitemp} but not ${acpifan}

1 Like

I’ve reverted back to Fedora. Ubuntu just doesn’t seem as snappy(as once thought)/optimized as Fedora does and for a computer that has relatively decent specs, the software running it should be snappy.

Does Fedora use much in the way of Snap packages, or is it mostly RPMs? I’m thinking that Ubuntu uses more Snap packages than DEB packages these days.

I’m also thinking that Snap packages may need to load more libraries, causing longer load times.

I just installed Conky and tested it on mine (21.10 also), and got the same results.

Been a long time since I played with sensors (is it still lm-sensors?).

Last Google search pointed to an ACPI config for GRUB (acpi_enforce_resources=lax), and something called fancontrol. Starting to think access to the fan speed sensor might also include access to the fan speed controls, where misconfigured systems could overheat.

Like @pyguydev I noticed the long load times for Firefox. I can live with that. I am pretty sure I installed all the neccesary packages. And for me the fingerprint reader works just fine about 75% of the time.

Two other annoyances:

  • Waking up from (deep) suspend seems to take an awful long time and
  • Every now and then the trackpad seems to randomly switch between “natural scrolling” and “reverse” and the system setting switch doesn’t do anything to change it.

You cannot, fan status isn’t exposed to the OS.

Ah, thanks. Bummer, though.